Often times, before I get to a destination, I’m not sure what I’m going to write about. Most stories—or, at least, the best stories—come from the unexpected, only unfolding after I’ve truly immersed myself in a place. And many times, the story doesn’t truly reveal itself until I go somewhere else; meaning that I might find something interesting in Hawaii, but I don’t find the true story until I head to Mexico, Whistler, and Turks & Caicos. Such was the case for this story, one centered around the growing trend of spa treatments that incorporate food (some good enough to eat!).
It all started earlier this year when I found myself at The Four Seasons in Whistler, British Columbia. On the evening of my arrival, I dined at the award-winning steakhouse on property, Sidecut. The very talented chef, Edison Mays, offers nearly two dozen choices of housemade spice rubs to complement his variety of steak cuts (Edison’s Medecine on the Kobe steak is not to be missed!). The next day, after an afternoon on the slopes, I headed to the spa, where I discovered that Mays had developed a similar line of bespoke rubs to use in spa treatments. The services, like “The Awakening” (a rub made from epsom salts, citrus zest, citrus and lemongrass essential oils), didn’t officially hit the spa menu until June, but they’ve already taken the spa by storm. If you’re headed to the area, I highly recommend the “Romance Rub”, a blend of Epsom salts, cinnamon and cinnamon essential oil that brings blood and nutrients to the skins surface and relieves muscle tension.
No matter where you are, though, you’ll likely be able to find other culinary-inspired spa treatements on the menu. Here are four more I can personally vouch for:
At the recently renovated spa at The Regent Palms in Turks & Caicos, guests can choose from a variety of culinary-inspired treatments, like the indigenous island “Zareeba” treatment, a service where guests inhale an aromatic steam from a blend of freshly brewed therapeutic herbs, or the “Oriental Essence Ceremony”, a ginger-infused salt scrub inspired by ancient Asian and Indian techniques using an aromatic spice sachet filled with smooth pebbles and soaked in warmed exotic oils.
The 50,000-square-foot Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea in Maui recently launched two new treatments based on the power of the “Niu,” the coconut palm tree in Hawaii known for creating radiant, smooth skin. The Royal Niu Coconut Dream for Two is a winner! The two-and-a-half hour treatment employs fibrous coconut husks (natural exfoliators) to apply a mild coconut scrub, which is followed by a coconut butter body cocoon, complete with a scalp and foot massage. Next comes a 25-minute coconut milk bath, followed by The Royal finale, a 50-minute massage employing coconut oil, shells and husks.
The spa at Grand Velas Riviera Maya takes guests on a culinary journey through Ancient Mexico with treatments like the “Coffee Ritual”, an exfoliation followed by a relaxing circulatory massage with coffee oil extract, the “Cocoa Ritual”, which uses a smooth, fresh mint chocolate cream to leave your skin invigorated and full of vitality, the “Purifying Vanilla Facial”, a deep cleansing treatment, or the “Olive Clay Wrap”, which begins with a honey exfoliation followed by a purifying hot clay mask made with guaraná-mate, and a cold clay mask made from olive and mint (both of which boast toning and slimming effects).
At Travaasa Austin’s award-winning spa, you don’t want to miss the “Invigorating Avocado Wrap”, which uses sumptuous avocado body butter blended with essential oils of lavender, pine, orange and lemon to balance, purify and tone. Other foodie-centered treatments include the “Ancient Purification”, which begins with an organic panela sugar scrub made from fossilized Dead Sea mud and organic herbs of chamomile, dandelion and lemon balm, and the “Detoxifying Juniper, Olive Stone Exfoliation & Polish”, which employs juniper, seaweed and cypress (all of which have a reputation for purifying and revitalizing the body and mind and jump-starting the metabolism).